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Denhollander shares story of survival at CARE House luncheon

Chuck Bennett
Special to The Detroit News

Rachael Denhollander passionately shared her story of survival at the CARE House of Oakland County’s 24th annual Circle of Friends Luncheon held at the Townsend Hotel on Thursday. She spoke of her courageous decision to come forward in 2016, leading to more than 250 other women making similar allegations against former USA Gymnastics team doctor and Michigan State University physician Larry Nassar.

More than 300 guests attended the luncheon and enjoyed a delicious plated spinach and arugula salad, garnished with marinated chicken breast, goat cheese and pistachios. As a surprise treat, crispy, hot french fries were served with a side of ketchup. Coffee and tea accompanied a chocolate mousse, brownie and whipped cream trifle.

Keynote speaker Rachael Denhollander, left, and CARE House CEO Blythe Tyler

TIME magazine recognized Denhollander as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World for her work as an advocate and educator on sexual abuse in 2018. Her memoir was released this year, "What Is a Girl Worth? My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics." Each guest received a signed copy.

Stressing the importance of both believing and supporting children, Denhollander encouraged guests to learn more about the services CARE House provides. She said adultswho were trained to respond to the symptoms of abuse were the ones to save her from further sexual abuse. As a mother of four, she also discussed the importance of teaching children from a young age about privacy and that their bodies are their own.

Anna Rea, left, Quinn Weiner, Danialle Karmanos and Anne Weiner at the CARE House luncheon.

On Wednesday night, nearly 100 supporters gathered for an exquisite private preview dinner party with special guest Denhollander, hosted at the beautiful Bloomfield Hills home of Roz and Scott Jacobson. Guests were served cocktails and a lavish meal from Tallulah.

CARE House is dedicated to the safety of children through prevention, intervention and treatment of child abuse and neglect, as well as educating community members and empowering survivors. Ticket prices for the Circle of Friends luncheon started at $125. The event raises funds to support CARE House’s child abuse treatment and prevention programs.

Scott and Roz Jacobson host preview dinner

Chuck Bennett is the creator of TheSocialMetro.com.